I love music. I listen to lots of it and love it when I find something I’ve never heard before that makes my heart sing.
I love it when I hear the same old things I’ve been listening to for decades, too.
I remember the moment I realized, as I listened to a new song on 93KHJ back in the day, that I knew what the music was going to do next. I loved it that I knew music well enough that I could listen to a piece and almost feel where the notes were going, when the chords were changing, how the lyrics would flow. Music has always felt transcendent to me, even after I gained a bit of understanding of how it worked.
I can’t do that with perspective. Yet. It used to bother me. I listened to people who told me I had it wrong in my sketch and I searched the interwebs for the secret. Some sites wanted me to draw perspective lines lightly in pencil to later erase. I read about one point, two point, three point perspective. I saw that not only were there perspective lines that ran from my eyes to the horizon, there were other perspective lines that went up into the air – presumably all the way to heaven. I was warned to heed Infinite Perspective, which scared me. If it is infinite, how do I know where to angle my lines? And which lines are to be angled where? I was sure I’d never get it right.
I gave up on the serious study of perspective and just about gave up on my sketching as I could see that, well, I didn’t see things as others did.
And then I sketched this grand display of wonky perspective.
It was a rare rainy day in southern California. I sat in my car to draw this house from across the street. I got lost in this drawing, just as I had in the highboy sketch four months earlier. I knew immediately that I liked it, just as I had with the highboy sketch. The house caught my eye for its dilapidated splendor. I could see that I had found the wisdom in my sketches, even if I had not quite found the “proper” slope of the roofline.
Getting lost in the drawing, in the music, in what I’m doing, is my understanding of transcendence. I might be wrong, I’ve been known to have wonky perspective – which I now proudly call my Signature Perspective Style.
Some things about transcendence: you don’t know you’re there while you’re in it; the moment you think I’m there, you’re not; and, there’s no surefire way to return to transcendence. I hope you get there often, and I hope you understand why we transcenders can’t let you know what we know.